|Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs|
“We have been really close but never finished it off, but today we had the car to do it and the guys did a great job executing," said Keselowski. "We had a good battle with Denny Hamlin and finished out front.”
It was no surprise that Keselowski had to go through the Gibbs Gang to get the win. With substitute pilot Denny Hamlin behind the wheel, the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota was strong, leading five times for a total of 45 laps and finished second, while Matt Kenseth in the No. 18 led twice for 42 laps, and wound up fourth.
Hamlin explained his inability to catch the No. 22: "Our car just didn't have that front-line speed that those other guys did ... If I had a little more experience with these cars, I would probably be able to tune it a little bit better and give those guys a run. Still for just one shot - not a bad run."
Championship contender Sam Hornish Jr. finished third despite a miscue in the pits that put him a lap down.
“It is a real good run to come back from being a lap down," he said. "It was a good strategy call to get us the wave around and we had to start at the back and then when we came down pit road the yellow came out and we had to go to the back of the lead lap cars."
Points leader Austin Dillon finished fifth. Hornish commented on how he and Dillon finished so close together.
“I didn’t know if we were going to be able to do much here as far as being able to capitalize. Austin has been pretty good on the 1.5 mile tracks, especially the bumpier ones like here and Atlanta and Kentucky as well," Hornish explained.
"Really, for most of the last 12 or 13 races we have ran within two or three spots of each other for almost the entire race. I might be two or three behind him and then it switches around. It seems like I have been around the 3 car a lot the second half of the season."
The anticipated challenge by Kyle Busch never materialized. The No. 54 blew a right rear tire on Lap 110, sending Busch across the grass and into the pits. He finished in 26th place, four laps down.
The full finishing order:
40 Michael McDowell